Maximizing customer value, minimizing waste
Manufacturing covers a lot of territory. Under the two basic divisions, discrete and process, are numerous subcategories and delineations within those categories.
We have specific experience and expertise across the individual categories. At the same time, we realize there are certain tenets that are relevant for almost all manufacturing organizations. Those include the need to create more value from fewer resources and the desire to transform and scale your business to harvest market opportunities as efficiently as possible.
We understand the trends and challenges facing the industry. And that, combined with our deep manufacturing experience and proven tools, makes us well qualified to help you transform and scale your business.
“Fpzsgroup and Microsoft were able to bring us from a paper-based company to a digital company.”
Our approach will guide you through your digital transformation
Based on many years of implementations in the manufacturing sector, we have developed assets that complement the Microsoft product suite. Our process-centric approach is focused on delivering unified platforms and guiding you through your digital transformation.
We’ll work with you to devise a single, intuitive system that drives efficiencies, improves capacity and boosts revenue.
For process manufacturing, we can help you:
- Guarantee precise formulas and recipes during batch production.
- Easily manage production, pricing and shipping of related, joint and byproducts.
- Administer product expiry dates in bulk at the touch of a button.
- Take advantage of First-Expired-First-Out (FEFO) capabilities to ensure suitable product picking.
- Track batches and comply with legal requirements in the event of a product recall.
For discrete manufacturing, we can help you:
- Oversee global production of standard-series products.
- Kick-start demand-driven production in response to sales orders.
- Manufacture bespoke products to customer specifications.
- Reduce unnecessary stockpiling of in-demand items.
- Streamline customer service with accessible insights and reporting based on master data.
Four steps manufacturers can take today to be ready for the future
Amid all this uncertainty there is one certainty: some manufacturers will be positioned to bounce back and thrive in the economy that emerges from these tumultuous times and some won’t. How can you prepare your company to emerge as one of the winners? It takes more than broad talk about digital transformation. Here are some ideas to consider:
1. Incorporate manufacturing for social good into the fabric of your company
Tom’s Shoes, Patagonia and Lego have been among the companies leading the way in a trend not only to make great products, but also to give back to the community.
French fragrance manufacturer LVMH and Scottish craft beer company BrewDog are both now producing hand sanitizer and providing it at no cost to medical care providers and others in need. These are inspirational examples of how every manufacturer can pitch in not just to aid in the fight against COVID-19, but to help make the world a better place.
2. Modernize your business applications
Manufacturers know that data and analytics is a crucial investment area over the next few years. However, manufacturers sometimes overlook the key role that business applications – such as ERP, CRM and SCM – should play in their data strategy. Business applications are the life blood of your business, your primary transactional components, the tools your people need to do their jobs – and the single biggest source of data your business has. They contain information about your customers and what they buy, your products, your suppliers, your assets, everything.
Sadly, most manufacturers are still running on decades-old, on-prem, legacy business applications that are hard to use and harder to get data from. As a result, they keep too much data in side-systems, spreadsheets and people’s heads. Today’s cloud-based business applications are vastly more functional, usable, scalable and perhaps most importantly, accessible. They can support your business strategies by greatly reducing costs and, even better, enabling your entry into new markets, new products and new lines of business.
3. Invest in your people
If you’re like most of the manufacturing executives I meet, your biggest struggle is people, specifically, having enough people with the skillsets your company needs to thrive in a digital economy.
Findings from our research indicate that the most common blocker for implementing digital transformation is hiring and training the right people to implement the transformation (cited by 46%). That’s a daunting obstacle given the new roles that workers need to master in the modern, technology augmented manufacturing facility. Yet, while most executives complain about it, too few do much about it. If that’s also true of you, now is the time to change that.
Technology tools offer a tremendous opportunity to build the workforce you need to compete in a global, digital economy.
4. Build a culture of innovation
You know that innovation is crucial to gaining and maintaining competitive advantage as a manufacturer, from improving current products and creating new ones to finding and developing new talent and new markets. So what are you doing about it? Innovation isn’t only a technology issue; sometimes, it isn’t a technology issue at all. Innovation is a multifaceted issue but surely one of those facets is culture.
You need a culture of innovation and you need it to start with top management. One company I know directs each employee to dedicate 20% of his or her time to innovation; that’s a commitment that can only come from the top. Another company created “innovation pods” – physical areas where employees can gather to brainstorm ideas. An innovation culture must be a fast-fail culture, in which failure is accepted as an important learning exercise on the route to success.